The subtle, caramel-y sweetness of maple syrup is an instant upgrade for a quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. And since your tongue won't be overwhelmed by sugar, you can actually taste the pumpkin in this almost-too-pretty-to-eat treat from Tieghan Gerard, blogger and author of Half Baked Harvest Cookbook.

Serves 8

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1/3 cup plus 6 Tbsp. maple syrup, divided, plus more for serving
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out

    Active time: 30 minutes
    Total time: 2 hours

    Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with butter.

    Pulse pecans in a food processor until finely chopped. Add 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 tsp. vanilla, melted butter, flour and 1/4 tsp. salt and pulse to combine. Press mixture into prepared pan, set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden and nuts smell toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave oven on.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat pumpkin, coconut milk, eggs, 1⁄3 cup maple syrup, remaining 2 tsp. vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt until combined. Pour mixture into baked crust (filling will come to top of tart shell, but will sink during baking).

    Bake on middle rack for 45 to 50 minutes, or until center no longer jiggles. Let cool on counter for 30 minutes, then refrigerate to cool completely, about 1 hour.

    While tart bakes, toss together pepitas and 3 Tbsp. maple syrup on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Transfer to oven and roast alongside tart until pepitas are toasted and golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with flaky sea salt.

    In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, whip cream until it holds soft peaks. Add cinnamon, ginger, remaining 1 Tbsp. maple syrup and vanilla bean seeds. Whip once more until combined and fluffy.

    When ready to serve, top tart with chai whipped cream. Drizzle with maple syrup and garnish with pepitas and some flaky sea salt.

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